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Rahul slams Modi in Gujarat; BJP loses Patidar leaders: Top 10 highlights

With both BJP and Congress hitting the Gujarat poll trail hard, here's what transpired in the last few days

BS Web Team  |  New Dehli 

Rahul Gandhi, Congress VP, Rahul Gandhi in US, US
Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi. (Photo: @OfficeOfRG Twitter handle)

Congress vice-president today visited in poll-bound Gujarat, a day after Prime Minister visited the state and inaugurated a slew of development projects. Gandhiaddressed a rally where he was joined by OBC leader Alpesh Thakore.

Hitting out at the central government, Rahul said that GST roll out has hurt businesses in Gujarat.

"GST is not GST, this is Gabbar Singh tax," he said

"Why doesn’t PM Modi speak on the issue (Jay Shah controversy)?," asked in a reference to recent case alleging Amit Shah's son running a company that saw huge rise in its revenue in the recent past.

"Hardik (Patel), Jignesh (Mevani) have a voice in their hearts...and that voice is inside all Gujaratis," said This voice can’t be subdued or bought, the Congress leader added.

Thakore had on Saturday night announced he was joining the Congress, hours after Congress leader Bharatsinh Solanki urged firebrand Patidar spearhead Hardik Patel and Dalit leader Jignesh Mewani to also join the party.

Temperatures in election-bound Gujarat is soaring. Here are top developments

— Samajwadi Party won't split anti-Modi votes

The Samajwadi Party will contest five of the 182 assembly seats in Gujarat and support the Congress in the rest, SP president Akhilesh Yadav today said. He said the party did not want a split in the anti-BJP votes and hence would contest only the seats where it has got strong organisational base.

— Hardik Patel - Gujarat will fight BJP

In a tweet, Hardik Patel, a Patidar leader said that he is not the one asking questions from the BJP government in Gujarat, "BJP ke saamne main nahi, Gujarat ki 6 crore janata lad rahi hai. Vyapaari, kisaan, sabhi samuday, labourers BJP ki tanashahi se pareshaan hain (Not me, but the public of Gujarat will be fighting against BJP. Traders, farmers, all communities and labourers are tired of BJP's dictatorial attitude.)"

— BJP allegedly offers Rs 1 crore to Narendra Patel

Narendra Patel, a key member of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), has claimed that the BJP offered him Rs 1 crore to break away from the Patidar agitation and join it. Patel joined the BJP on Sunday evening in the presence of Varun Patel, another aide of Hardik Patel who joined the party on Saturday after meeting BJP president Amit Shah.

However, within a few hours of joining the party, Narendra Patel alleged that he received a token amount of Rs 10 lakh as a part of the Rs  1 crore that the BJP promised him to switch over to the party. He accused Varun Patel of facilitating the deal.

— Another Patidar leader dumps BJP, expresses dissent over Rs 1 cr offer by BJP

Another Patidar leader Nikhil Sawani on Monday announced his resignation from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), citing the reason to be unfulfilled promises made by the party.

Addressing a press conference here, Sawani also expressed his dissent over the Rs 1 crore offer that was placed in front of another Patidar leader Narendra Patel to join hands with the BJP.

"I am submitting my resignation on account of the unfulfilled promises that were made by the BJP for the betterment of the Patidar community. The reason why I had joined was the betterment of our community. None of the four proposals spoken about has been fulfilled. It seems like it was all election propaganda to muster support on their side," he said.

— Gujarat can never be bought, says Rahul Gandhi

Congress Vice President on Monday took on the ruling party, saying Gujarat is priceless and can never be bought.

"Gujarat is priceless. It has never been bought. It can never be bought. It will never be bought," Gandhi said in a tweet.

— OBC leader Alpesh Thakor joins Congress

OBC leader Alpesh Thakore on Saturday announced he was joining the Congress.

— Modi's Diwali gift to Gujarat

The prime minister on Sunday inaugurated the Rs 100-crore City Command and Control Centre in Badamadi Garden, Rs 125-crore Janmahal city transport hub and multi-level parking, a Rs 160-crore multi-modal city transport hub and Rs 267-crore waste-to-energy processing plant.

The other projects which he inaugurated or for which he laid the foundation stone included a Rs-166 crore water treatment plant, two flyovers worth Rs 265 crore, a Rs 55- crore deer safari park and a Rs 6-crore veterinary hospital.

— EC skips announcing Gujarat election dates

On October 12, the EC had announced Assembly poll schedule for Himachal Pradesh but did not announce the dates for Gujarat, only saying that it would go to the polls before December 18.

— 'EC not under any political pressure'

Achal Kumar Joti, India's Chief Election Commissioner, on Monday rejected the opposition's charge that the country's top election body is working under the pressure of the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

"We have given equal opportunities to all political parties. We have not directed any party to hold or not to hold their rallies in the state. We are not meddling in their campaigns. Yesterday, the Prime Minister went to Gujarat. Today, will go. We are not giving any special preference to any political party," said Joti.

Asked as to why the commission is silent on Prime Minister announcing schemes during his rallies in poll-bound state, Joti said political parties make poll promises during the campaigns and Election Commission is not acting till the model code of conduct comes in place.

— Congress can't question Election Commission

Prime Minister hit out at the Congress for questioning the Election Commission for not announcing the poll schedule for Gujarat along with Himachal Pradesh. The Congress has no moral right to question the Constitutional body, Modi said addressing a gathering in Gujarat.

"Some of them (Opposition) are worried why Modi is coming to Gujarat after Diwali. They can't say anything to me, so they are targeting the Election Commission," the prime minister said and asked the gathering, "You tell me, should I not come to Vadodara?"

First Published: Mon, October 23 2017. 17:49 IST